In a relatively short amount of time, the internet has completely changed the way we do business. In particular, small to medium sized businesses have learned that marketing themselves online is not only valuable but essential in this new age.
While large corporations now employ entire departments to manage their marketing efforts, small businesses often find themselves struggling just to get started. If you’ve ever found yourself asking what you should (or shouldn’t) be doing with regards to your digital marketing, here’s a brief guide to help you direct your focus.
1. Your Website
Your customers expect to find you online, so create a suitable “home” for your business online. Every company needs a website, and the features/functions of that website will vary based on the industry and competition. You don’t want to lose a competitive advantage in your market by having a site that doesn’t stack up against others in your space. Make sure you consider this when trying to determine what you need.
2. Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Building a website is essential, but the next step is making sure people can find it. Learn SEO strategies and use them to bump your website to the top of search results. We do this by researching and anticipating the keywords that customers use to search for businesses like yours. Then we leverage those keywords in pages and blogs to increase your website visibility. It should be noted that this strategy requires implementation over an extended period of time along with a consistent effort. It is a long-term strategy as opposed to other digital marketing techniques which may provide faster results.
3. Your Emails
Email marketing is the digital equivalent of direct mail, only it’s faster, cheaper, and easier to implement. These days, having a regular email newsletter going out to your clients and prospects should be the very least you should do. Deliver your targeted messages straight into the inboxes of those who need your services. You must provide relevant information within these messages and refrain from constantly selling your services, so that your emails will be viewed as valuable rather than “junk mail”.
4. Your Social Media Presence
Social media is the third essential foundation of a solid digital marketing strategy. With social media you gain the ability to interact with customers directly, in the space where they are likely to spend the most time online.
Contrary to common belief, you don’t need to join every single social networking site. Begin by researching the platforms most popular with your target demographic, and then build profiles on those sites. Remember to post content that your audience will value, create a steady posting schedule, and consider boosting posts in order to gain more visibility.
5. Your Ability to Stand Out From the Crowd
What is different about your business? How do you compete with similar companies in your area or online? Define your company by one or two “selling points” that make you unique, and make those central to your digital marketing strategy.
6. Your Content
The digital world is all about information. Provide a valuable resource to your audience, and they will return to you time and again. Focus on blogs that address issues common to your demographic, and videos that introduce products or demonstrate solutions.
7. Your Connections
“Level up” in a competitive social media field by partnering with micro-influencers in your area of expertise. Large businesses do this all the time, by recruiting celebrities to promote their brands. But you don’t need to budget for a top model or sports star; small businesses often have the opportunity to network within their community and build credibility through reviews, speaking engagements, and smaller educational forums (live or online).
At this point, you might be wondering which of these seven steps is the most important to your digital marketing strategy. The truth is that they are all necessary and they work in tandem with one another to exponentially boost your brand awareness online. But that doesn’t mean you must exhaust yourself trying to implement them all at once. Contact us to discuss your options, and we can help you craft a simple, but effective, step-by-step digital marketing plan.